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CHAPTER IV.

SOLOMON A TYPE OF MESSIAH, AND INSPIRED TO WHITE OF HIM.

Solomon. Solomon reigned forty years over all Israel, which was longer than the reigns of any other of their kings. Never had there been such unbroken peace; the land was fruitful in all its borders; wealth was in overflowing abundance; cities were built, and useful and ornamental buildings erected; the understanding and taste were cultivated; equity and justice were administered throughout the kingdom; special attention was paid to the poor of the people in every part of his dominions. Bnt the greatest of all the works of that reign, and to which Solomon had been' divinely appointed, was the building of the temple. He commenced it in the fourth year of his reign. David had prepared with all his might, for the house of his God, by giving gold and silver, brass and iron, wood, onyx stones, precious stones, and marble stones in abundance; amounting to immense value. Solomon was three years in making these materials, besides what he added to them, ready for its erection. It was built of stone, prepared before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building—an emblem of the peace there must be where the Holy Spirit will descend. The temple.— As Moses was instructed by the Lord in 2 chron. Ill, what manner to construct the tabernacle, so u"v was Solomon in the erection of the temple.

"Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the place of the mercy-seat; and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things" (1 Chron. xxviii. 11, 12). And Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah; it was on that spot David built an altar to the Lord, and called upon the Lord: who answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burntoffering, and commanded the angel; "and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof." Mount Moriah was near to Zion, the city of David. The temple was about a hundred feet long, thirty-three feet wide, and fifty feet high. The inside walls were wainscoted with cedar of exquisite workmanship. The tabernacle reared up in the wilderness was half as long, and rather more than half as wide, and as high. The use and typical meaning of the tabernacle and the temple were the same: it was divided in the same manner and proportion into two parts. "The oracle," or "the Most Holy Place," in which were put the ark of the covenant with the mercy-seat, and from whence the Lord delivered his answers to the high priest from above the mercy-seat, was twenty cubits square. The veil, which separated the Holy of holies, was hung with golden chains on pillars erected for that purpose. When the veil was drawn aside, folding-doors of olivetree, plated with gold, and curiously engraved with cherubim and palm-trees, took up a fifth of the partition. The doors at the entrance of the sanctuary were rather larger. In the tabernacle there had been one laver of brass, at which the priests continually washed themselves and the sacrifices. But now the numbers of the priests and Levites were multiplied, and the sacrifices were proportionally increased; therefore Solomon prepared a brazen sea, and ten lavers besides, at which the sacrifices were to be washed. The brazen sea was a very large reservoir, capable of holding about four hundred and fifty hogsheads. The brazen altar was four times as long, and four times as broad, as that made by Moses, and above three times as high. It formed a scaffold, above eleven yards square, and five yards high. "And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained to the house of the Lord; the altar of gold, and the table of gold whereon the shew-bread was; and the candlestick of pure gold." He made ten tables, but one might have been much larger than the rest, and the shew-bread chiefly placed upon it.

Everything was made new for the temple, except the ark of the covenant, with the mercy-seat and cherubim; for they were the peculiar symbol of the Lord's presence with his people, as reconciled in Jesus Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. The temple was in a peculiar manner the residence of Jehovah in the midst of Israel, when the ark of the covenant was placed in it; Solomon's undertaking was therefore incomplete, and the temple lacked its chief glory (notwithstanding all its gold and exquisite workmanship) until the ark was removed thither, and fixed in the Most Holy Place. "And they brought up the ark of the Lord, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even them did the priests and the Levites bring up. And king Solomon and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be told nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the Most Holy Place, even under the wings of the cherubim." "There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel."

"And it came to pass,"when the priests were come out of the Holy Place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord." Then did Solomon dedicate the house to the Lord, in humble, earnest, comprehensive prayer. One of the petitions of it was, "Arise, 0 Lord God, into thy resting-place; thou, and the ark of thy strength."

This term is often given to the ark of the covenant in the Scriptures; the commandments being a transcript of the Divine mind, and the basis of his government amongst all his intelligent creatures. The mercy-seat above them, showed how the transgressors of them could be forgiven through him whom the mercy-seat typified. The ark had been removed from one place to another, until the temple was built; there it had a resting-place for more than 400 years, until the Jews were taken captives to Babylon.

Solomon had made ample provision for the suitable offering of sacrifices; on this occasion, they were so numerous they could not be reckoned.

When the sacrifices were offered, according to Divine appointment, with penitence and faith, they were accepted of the Lord: the Holy Spirit was sent upon the worshippers, and Israel became a righteous and properous nation. "Their land gave her increase, and God, even their own God, blessed them." When they were neglected, or brought merely in a formal manner, without being accompanied by the devout exercises of the heart, Jehovah said, " To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts. I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of rams, or of he-goats." Then came famine, pestilence, and besieging armies, until they were reduced to the greatest straits.

The temple, when filled with the cloud of glory, was a type of the human nature of Christ, in whom dwelleth "all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. ii. 9).

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